I love when I’m working with a business and ask them where their last referral came from and they tell me, “it was a referral from…” That’s because word of mouth is gold when it comes to growing your business. Word of mouth shows that you take care of your clients and have built enough trust and authority that people are willing to recommend you. It’s organic, authentic, and thanks to technology, can be amplified.
The most obvious advent to amplify word of mouth is social media. Social platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter account for 26% of all website traffic, and Google Reviews receives more views than any other site with 63% of consumers reading reviews before visiting a website. You can’t escape having some kind of social media presence to increase awareness and engagement with your brand or business, it’s simply table stakes in today’s marketing landscape.
However, some platforms are more valuable than others when it comes to amplifying your word of mouth, and LinkedIn is invaluable: with over 61M senior level influencers and 40M users in decision making positions, it’s by far the best way to amplify your word of mouth in B2B.
Just like your strategic marketing plan, your goal on LinkedIn is to build and expand your audience, capture and follow up with leads, and stay top-of-mind. LinkedIn houses all the professionals you need to connect with, and through their Sales Navigator feature, is designed to help you get in front of the right people through targeted search queries, without the unnecessary caloric intake that come with in person networking events. The search feature allows you to get as granular as you’d like: filtering by title, seniority, company headcount, keywords, and geographic location, to name a few. Once you’ve identified your audience, you can start connecting with them.
Start with a simple connection message request, don’t just click ‘connect.’ Connection requests that are sent with a message have a 74% acceptance rate versus requests that just opt to ‘connect’. Your message should be short and sweet and highlight what you have in common with the person your connecting with. Mine usually look something like:
Hi [first name], my passion is for helping businesses grow, and I always want to connect with others doing the same.
Once the connection is accepted, follow up with another message thanking them for connecting, and provide them with insight into your expertise and positions you as a thought leader able to help them solve problems or challenges they are likely facing. As you continue to build your audience through your connections, make a habit of creating 4-6 weekly activities to stay top-of-mind with your audience. Activities can include posting articles you’ve written, quotes, third party content that’s relevant to your audience, and liking and commenting on posts in your feed.
As conversations start to deepen, take the conversation away from the messaging platform and into email, and make sure that valuable contact information is getting put into your CRM or email distribution list.
Of course, social media isn’t the only driver of word of mouth. Your website should serve as the central communication hub for your marketing strategy, and should house all of the great content you’re using for LinkedIn and other social platforms.
Organic search continues to be the primary driver of all website traffic. Google Search is the primary tool prospects are using to find your brand or business, whether they know exactly what they’re looking for, or, are trying to locate what’s out there or near them. Every time you successfully generate word of mouth activity, that turns into an organic search, and you have to rank well for your name and company name, and then provide a great experience for your prospect that starts their journey through the sales funnel.
Upon visiting your website, prospects should be pulled farther down into the funnel via the content you have on your site. Capture these prospects by offering a high-value reward in exchange for their email. Then, stay top-of-mind with regular email campaigns that highlight your brand or business’s thought leadership and expertise – showcase how you can help them solve particular problems or provide valuable insight into a challenge or obstacle they are facing.
All the best,